Nomore767 wrote: The point I was making is that frustration can lead to fudging the weight and adding this and that until you end up over weight and illegal. Are you intending to be unsafe and reckless? Only you can answer, but I would suggest taking a moment and think about sitting in the FSDO explaining it all to the FAA. I'm pretty sure 'its safe to fly at its higher certified weight in Europe' won't sit well with them.
I agree regarding the illegal part. If you fly over the US legal limit, and the FAA finds out, you are going to have to explain yourself. When you invoke the "safe in Europe" defense, that will be a bad thing.
But there are many on here that explain that it's not safe to fly a plane over 1320, even if it is certified to a higher weight elsewhere. I have read the Professors' weight limits and their affect on the human body absorbing impact at crash. I understand that.
However, after reviewing the 10 year FAA accident and fatality report for SLSA, I do not see a correlation between heavier planes with low useful loads, and higher fatality rates. I also do not see the phrase "overweight" or "over max gross" anywhere in the report. But I also understand excess weight can manifest itself in different ways, i.e. LOC or takeoff or landing issues.
What you do see in that report are a few manufacturers of specific planes with abnormally high fatality rates. That would indicate there is something about the handling aspect of that aircraft that makes it less safe to fly.
So am I safer in a plane with high historic fatality rates but is under gross weight?
I would say that just because the FAA has set a weight limit, that doesn't make an LSA safe that operates under that limit.
Is an airplane operated over gross weight inherently unsafe, probably not. Is a pilot who knowingly operates an airplane over max gross weight flying recklessly and in an unsafe manner, as well as illegal? Yes.
If there is an accident/incident and the report finds that the pilot knowingly operated the airplane overweight is that pilot subject to license suspension/revocation? Yes.
I would say that a pilot who is cavalier about weight and balance is likely to also be the same way with regards aircraft performance. A previous poster mentioned high density altitude, high temperatures etc. There is also the manner in which the weight is distributed.
Thing is, we're all stuck with the rule the way it is. However, there are some manufacturers who have worked diligently to produce a well performing airplane with a LOWER empty weight than some others. At lower cost too.
For example my RV-12 has a standard 750lb empty weight. I purchased it as an SLSA and it was delivered with a 765lb empty weight after adding options. This allows ME to pretty much do all the things I sought in my own sport flying 'mission' and at a price of about $90k than the airplane models I had been looking at. Another customer may view this differently and choose another model.
I think you're tilting at windmills here. Ask any LSA owner/pilot if they'd like an increase in LSA weight limit and they'd probably all yell YES in unison. Ask any LSA manufacturer who's trying to compete in the LSA sector if an increase in the LSA weight limit would be a welcome move, and they'd all say YES too. Ask any of the LSA manufactures if they'd like the same weight exemption that ICON got.
Ask us all if a weight limit change is likely soon, the answer I'm sure will be a resounding NO!